If you’re a literary fan, few things beat following in the footsteps of your favourite author and visiting those locations that inspired their stories and characters.
2017 is Visit England’s “Year of Literacy Heroes”, so we’ve picked 4 literary locations that are celebrating famous author’s anniversaries- perfect for that weekend break away.
Sherlock Holmes in London
It’s 125 years since the story of Sherlock Holmes was first published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. One of the most portrayed characters in history, the story of Sherlock Holmes has been brought to life through countless adaptations for film and television. (The most recent BBC Series “Sherlock” proving that fascination for this London private detective still endures to this day).
Why not visit the official residence of Holmes himself? The Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street is where Holmes and colleague Dr Watson were said to have lived. Visitors can step back to the Victorian age as the house has been maintained as it would have been in those times.
Get there: Baker Street tube station
Stay: Travelodge London Marylebone
If you fancy taking in Sherlock film and TV locations, then the 2-hour Sherlock Holmes London Walking Tour is a must for fans of Holmes and Watson. £12 Adults, £10 children
Jane Austen in Hampshire
It’s the 200th anniversary of the death of one of England’s most-loved writers. Jane Austen’s works are set among the English middle and upper classes and countless readers have enjoyed the wit and social observations that run through her novels. Many of her insights and characters are as relevant now as in the 19th century.
Pay a visit to Jane Austen’s House Museum in the village of Chawton,Hampshire, which was the writer’s house for the last 8 years of her life. Enjoy the collection of Jane Austen artefacts and explore this 19th century home and garden that retains much of its original charm. Adult ticket is £8. Re-opens on the 03 March 2017.
For a deeper insight into the author’s life, The Jane Austen Story is a permanent exhibition situated in the north nave aisle of Winchester Cathedral and beside Jane’s grave. Visitors can learn about the author’s birth and childhood, the family’s move to Bath, her return to Hampshire and her adult life in Chawton and finally Winchester. An adult ticket costs £7.95 and includes a guided tour of the Cathedral, Treasury and Crypt.
Get there: Winchester is just off the M3 and Chawton is accessible via the A31 only a 25 minute drive away.
Stay: Travelodge Andover
Enid Blyton in Dorset
It’s been 75 years since Enid Blyton published ‘Five on Treasure Island’ a children’s adventure about a group of young children – Julian, Dick, George, Anne and their dog Timmy. This truly British story has enchanted children all over the world, with it’s lashings of ginger beer, countless picnics and fun adventures. And now you can follow in the footsteps of the Famous five with your very own castle and seaside caper.
Start your fun in Dorset at Corfe Castle’s romantic runs, which offers spectacular views across Purbeck and was the inspiration behind Blyton’s Kirrin Castle. Discover the castle’s 1000 years of history with fallen walls and secret places – great for hiding! Then hop on the Swanage Railway for your very own vintage adventure. The train makes its way down from Corfe Castle station to the coast at Swanage – where ice cream and fish and chips are order of the day.
Get there: The main approaches are through Wareham via the A351 or across the Sandbanks Ferry from Poole or Bournemouth via Swanage.
Stay: Travelodge Poole
Harry Potter in London
2017 marks the 20th anniversary since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published. For fans of the films, the Making of Harry Potter tour in Watford, offers unrivalled glimpses into the props and sets used in the movies. If you fancy a London walkabout, why not join a 2 hour walking tour where you can take in film locations which include The Leaky Cauldron, the Ministry of Magic and many others. Bonus: You may also out get to know more about the architecture and history of London. Adult ticket costs £12. For more Harry Potter London film locations, check out our Harry Potter’s fan guide to London.
Get there: The Studio Tour is located 20 miles north-west of London and less than three miles from the M1 and M25 motorways.
Stay: Travelodge Hemel Hempstead Gateway or Travelodge London Central Euston
*All prices were correct at time of publish